Ada McMahon's blog

“The world must know what they [BP] have done to this community. This place could have been a paradise.” Those are the words of Byron Encalade, president of Louisiana Oystermen’s Association and the face of a beautiful and devastating new documentary film, Vanishing Pearls.

How does mailing books to prisoners connect to throwing dance parties in a bankrupt city? What does making a film about coastal land loss have in common with using hand signals to create focus in a 2nd grade classroom?

These are all ways people in New Orleans and Detroit are using media to respond to disasters, both macro and micro. These stories, and more, came out when we took our Deep Dialogues series (hosted by WTUL News & Views and Bridge The Gulf Project) on the road to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference.

Three years since the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico set off the worst oil disaster in United States history, BP Chief Bob Dudley says everything is fine in the Gulf of Mexico. But fishermen paint a very different picture – of struggling fisheries, untreated illnesses from oil and toxic dispersant, inadequate compensation from BP, and an uncertain future.

yudith nietoIf you want to get a sense of what the Keystone XL pipeline would do to Gulf Coast communities (and which communities will bear the brunt of refining 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day), look no further than Manchester, a neighborhood in Houston’s East End.

FASTA delegation of Filipino groups from across the country visited Louisiana this weekend to show solidarity with a local labor struggle against the oil industry, with national and international implications. A group of former workers at Grand Isle Shipyard (GIS), all guestworkers from the Philippines, have filed a class action lawsuit against the oil company for a range of labor abuses.

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